Keep Your Horizons Open

There is a danger that if price becomes the only point of differentiation between you and your competitors when it comes to balustrade solutions, then you in effect narrow your horizon, according to Bohle’s Paul Miller.

“Price is critical,” Miller told The Installer. “Whether it’s the price at which you buy or the price at which you sell, at the end of the day, we all need to make a profit. But if managing cost is the only way you are running your business, then you are by definition being reactive – and not proactively looking at opportunities.”

Miller argues that there will always be a market that is driven by price, yet the real opportunities lie outside in sectors where quality and choice are valued more highly.

He said: “If you are looking to improve your profit margin, then there are many ways of doing this without cutting your overheads while still winning sales. Bohle has been in business for 100 years this year. Part of its success is down to its ability to take advantage of opportunities, and not simply react to market forces.”



A case in point, Miller argues, is Bohle’s easy-fit VetroMount balustrade system, which is now available with a 1.5kN line-loading. This, he says, makes it suitable for the growing retail, hospitality and commercial market, as well as for domestic use.

VetroMount is available in a standard face or floor fixing option; a flush-finish; and a third, ‘Y’ shaped channel, which tapers down to the face of the substrate to create a clean minimalist finish.

Each minimises fixings, while making installation simple using Bohle’s patented zip-fix technology and cradle to hold the glass firmly in the channel. This also makes alignment easy, with simple adjustment.

Available in standard 2.5m and 5m lengths, VetroMount accommodates glass thickness of up to 21.5mm. It’s also counterbored, which means it is suitable for use with standard, rather than more expensive counter-fix fixings.

“VetroMount may not have the lowest price on the market, however, it offers a significant opportunity to build in more margin, which means you get to walk away with more cash in your pocket,” said Miller.

He added: “For example, VetroMount allows window fitters to cross sell on projects. For example, someone replacing their windows may also have a requirement for balustrading, which could otherwise go to another contractor.

“And with VetroMount, we’ve simplified the balustrade installation, so there’s no need to carry specialist tools, which reduces fixing costs and protects margin.”


Domestic and commercial

Miller said: “Also, balustrading for domestic use only requires a 0.74kN line loading, and VetroMount can achieve this with 17.5mm PVB laminated glass, which is 30% cheaper than the 21.5mm alternative.

”However, by using additional glass carriers and 21.5mm PVB laminated glass, the system can be upgraded to a 1.5kN system. This means the product can confidently be installed in commercial areas open to the public such as footways, pavements, retail spaces, bars, restaurants and vehicular areas, including stairs and landings.”

VetroMount was independently tested in August 2023 to BS6180:2011 for a 1.5kN line load.


No call-backs

Miller said: “There is an assumption that higher prices limit your available market, yet the opposite is true. If you have to return to a project to replace faulty hardware, you’ve not only lost money on that job, you could lose that customer as well.”


Picture:  Bohle’s Paul Miller says you can always cut prices on balustrades yet by offering a premium product that can be used in both domestic and commercial settings, you can retain that all important margin.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
07th January 2024


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